LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Social workers, mental health professionals and several Southland officials Wednesday took the streets of downtown Los Angeles to take part in an street- and sidewalk-cleaning initiative.

The Operation Healthy Streets initiative involved a series of scrub-down along a square-mile section of the Skid Row area, with San Julian Street between Sixth and Seventh streets. slated as the first target for cleanup.

KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports the City Council recently approved $3.7 million in funds for the program and expanded it to an every-other-month schedule rather than quarterly.

Homeless residents have been notified of the effort and will be required to temporarily remove their belongings from the streets and sidewalks during the cleanup.

As part of Operation Healthy Streets, county agencies will offer services including on-site health screenings, such as tuberculosis testing, Medi-Cal enrollment, medical transport, and placement in drug and alcohol treatment programs.

City Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district includes Skid Row, called the effort a “historic city-county collaboration”, but added that to “uplift this community we need to address the overwhelming human need in the area.”

The outreach is expected to provide key services to residents like Dennis, who said he ended up on Skid Row three years ago after losing his job following a car accident.

But he said the level of need in the neighborhood should be overwhelmingly focused on one primary area.

“Basically, we could use more housing, job training, job development, and jobs,” he said.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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